Football - Lambert the hero against Villans

Aston Villa's miserable season suffered another damaging blow as a controversial penalty - converted by skipper Rickie Lambert - earned fellow strugglers Southampton a 1-0 victory at Villa Park.

PA Sport
Football - Lambert the hero against Villans
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Rickie Lambert put Southampton ahead from the penalty spot against Aston Villa

Villa defender Enda Stevens appeared to make no contact on Saints player Jay Rodriguez before he went to ground just inside the box but stand-in referee Mark Halsey - a late replacement for the ill Chris Foy - thought otherwise.

Lambert made no mistake with his 34th minute spot-kick to move Nigel Adkins' side above Villa and complete a double. The harsh reality is Villa have now taken only one point from their last five league games and look set for a season-long battle to stay up.

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